"System change is now inevitable. Either because we do something about it, or because we will be hit by climate change. '...

"We need to develop economic models that are fit for purpose. The current economic frameworks, the ones that dominate our governments, these frameworks... the current economic frameworks, the neoclassical, the market frameworks, can deal with small changes. It can tell you the difference, if a sock company puts up the price of socks, what the demand for socks will be. It cannot tell you about the sorts of system level changes we are talking about here. We would not use an understanding of laminar flow in fluid dynamics to understand turbulent flow. So why is it we are using marginal economics, small incremental change economics, to understand system level changes?"

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Presentation Tonight in Austin

Local folks who read this blog may be interested in the following presentation at the Austin Forum:
Three Case Studies: Cities and the Use of Technology to Achieve Urban Sustainability

Steven Moore is the Bartlett Cocke Professor of Architecture and Planning in the School of Architecture at The University of Texas at Austin. In 2001, Moore co-founded the UT Center for Sustainable Development. He is a Fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts and a Loeb Fellow of the Harvard Graduate School of Design and has authored numerous books.

Moore will present case studies of three very different cities that aspire to develop sustainably — Austin, Texas; Curitiba, Brazil; and Frankfurt, Germany. His experience as a practicing architect and his knowledge of science, technology, geography, and planning allow him to study the built environment as a socio-technical artifact. He also uses Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis to model the physical impacts of public policy choices and relates this directly to his work.
You can also glimpse the current champion world's most powerful computer (actually online now! yay!) blinking through a wall of glass and if you ask me nicely I'll show you my office too, both in the same building.
Research Office Complex
J.J. Pickle Research Campus
10100 Burnet Road
Building 196
Austin, Texas 78758-4497
Update 1/17: Nobody took me up on this which is just as well. The talk was not entirely boring but it far from knocked my socks off. The title of the talk was utterly misleading, and I would venture that the speaker knows very little about technology or for that matter about the sorts of thing I would call science. More to follow.

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